There is a variety of financial and money-saving hurdles that we encounter in life, some big, some small. However, some such hurdles can prove to be a little harder to clear than others. And clearing such obstacles can be costly. But if handled in the right way, while you might not remove these hurdles completely, you could at least lower them, making for a cheaper and easier way over them.
Much is often made about just how expensive kids can be. Numbers in the realm of nearly a quarter of a million dollars are sometimes reported to be spent on raising a child to the age of 18. And there’s no doubt that with birthing costs, clothing, food, medical expenses, sports, school fees, housing, and all the rest, kids can be expensive. However, there are ways around some of these costs, especially when the kids are still young.
We’ve found that several tactics have saved us thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars on kid-related expenses during their early years. By doing things like using hand-me-downs or shopping resale for things like clothing, toys, and similar supplies, we’ve been able to keep our costs low. Then, for things like food, diapers, formula, wipes, and more, we’ve purchased non-name brand products from places like Aldi, Wal-mart, and Target. Often, such products provide a 20 to 50 percent price discount compared to their name brand counterparts.
Housing costs can really kill a personal budget. From a mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance, to utilities, maintenance, upgrades, and all the rest, there are a variety of costs that can go into owning and maintaining a home.
We realized this after we bought our first home. The house was larger than we needed and ended up costing us more money than we ever expected. To reduce our housing costs, we sold, downsized, and bought a significantly smaller home with significantly lower costs. This smaller space was one that we could afford outright, which cut out the mortgage costs. It also had lower property taxes and utilities, and it helps us reduce costs in other areas since we can’t fill this small space with as much stuff as we could in our previous home. Our small living location keeps us constantly downsizing clutter, allowing for fewer material possessions and helping us earn extra money through the resale of items that we no longer need.
There are all sorts of spending temptations out there, and many of them we encounter in our daily lives. All these little temptations can lead to big trouble when it comes to costs, and they can create a hurdle larger than any other to overcome. However, there are also lots of little things that we can do to lower the height of this obstacle.
In our family, we do a multitude of little things that equate to big savings. From making grocery lists, developing meal plans, creating most of our meals at home, and only heading to the grocery store once a week to keep food costs down, to shopping resale for things like clothing and home goods, holding just one family credit card, and doing much of our spending in cash, we manage to avoid many of the smaller spending temptations out there. And in this way, we clear the hurdle of temptation without it seeming to be much of an obstacle at all.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.